Shailene Woodley has signed on to play a cancer sufferer who falls head over heels for a fellow patient in romantic drama The Fault of Our Stars.

The Descendants actress has landed the role of Hazel Grace Lancaster in Josh Boone's big screen adaptation of John Green's romantic best-seller about two cancer-stricken teenagers who fall madly in love.

Boone commented: "During our exhaustive search to find Hazel Grace Lancaster, I saw some stunning auditions by today's finest young actresses. Over 250 girls read for the part, but it wasn't until Shailene stepped in front of the camera that I truly saw Hazel for the first time.

"It was like lightning striking. I can't wait for the rest of the world to see what I have."

The tear-jerker tells the story of teens Gus and Hazel, who become inseparable after meeting in their cancer support group. The positive-minded pair choose not to dwell on their doomed romance, and decide to embark upon on an action-packed journey to make the most of their time together instead.

The Fox 2000 film has been scripted by (500) Days Of Summer and The Spectacular Now - in which Shailene also starred - screenwriters Scott Neustadter and Michael Weber.